PSX Mania – 060 – Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition (1999)

Completion time: 1:04:50

Originally we had Batman & Robin as the 60th game (milestone game). We started it, the game was really, really janky, and then when we went to save, I didn’t have enough blocks of memory free on my card (I had one block free, which should be more than enough for any non-RPG/sports game). I made the call to Billy Box® it for the time being. It’s a game I’ve both been dreading, but have always wanted to play, and it’s upsetting that I had to shelf it.

I tried my best to find a “milestone” type of game to add in its place. Milestone games are games that I am looking forward to, dreading, or both, and Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition fit that bill. It’s a game I’ve always wanted to play. Unfortunately, the entire experience was slightly above average, with the textbook SNK final boss garbage to deal with.

When you have to resort to tactics that you’d never use on a real player, just to beat a final boss, then you programmed the CPU AI poorly. I had to spam standing jump punch into a sweep to beat Geese Howard, and that still took me an absurd amount of time to get it done properly. Geese was tame compared to most SNK final bosses, but the asinine final boss structure that they have, really should have never existed.

The rest of the game was fine. The backgrounds didn’t look so hot, though the character models looked decent enough. The music didn’t fit with the action most of the time. Mechanically it worked, although I could only get Joe’s fireball out like every 4th attempt. The difficulty ramped up fine enough until the end.

The only real impressive thing to come out of Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition was the opening 5 min cutscene when we started arcade mode. No voice acting, but it was well done enough to make it feel like it was important, up until the nonsensical joke ending I got from Joe – a stark contrast from the mood the opening conveyed.

Out of all the fighting games we have played on PSX Mania thus far, this is as middle of the road as you can get. It does nothing outstanding, yet it doesn’t fail the player really. It exists, for whatever that’s worth, and your time really isn’t worth it.

Rating: 6

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